2 sea turtles released back into ocean after rehab in Sarasota

Sarasota County

(Photo: Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital.)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Two sea turtles were released back into the ocean off Casey Key on Wednesday after being rehabilitated at Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital.

The first to be released, Hookee, a juvenile green sea turtle, was rescued near Englewood in June after he was accidentally caught by a fisherman. The fisher man called the Mote hotline and held the turtle until a rescue team arrived. The reptile underwent surgery to have a hook removed from his esophagus and stayed at the hospital for 18 days.

The second turtle, Joyce, an adult female loggerhead sea turtle, was rescued after being discovered swimming erratically near the Venice Fishing Pier in March. She spent a little over three months at the hospital. Staff said she had finally begun foraging on her own and became less buoyant.

The two turtles were released on Wednesday near a private residence on Casey Key.

“The successful rescue, rehabilitation and release of both Hookee and Joyce stress the important role that private citizens can play in aiding local wildlife,” Mote Marine said in a statement.

If you see a distressed or deceased sea turtle, manatee, dolphin or whale in Sarasota or Manatee counties, call Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program at 941-988-0212.

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